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Posts Tagged ‘sacred contracts’

Greetings, my friends!

I’m recycling another of my favorite posts today. I was reminded of it last week when I was on Etsy, and an antique hour glass showed up in a search – randomly, I might add.  This is a favorite post because of Professor Beard’s message–one that has never left me since the below documented reading nearly 3 years now. ENJOY!

Post from June 6, 2014:  I was nearing the end of an hour-long reading (Messages from Loved Ones & Guides) with Louise, from Iowa. She came into the reading with a number of goals and questions, and it was interesting to see how they were answered one by one. Her Loved Ones in Spirit had covered most of them to her satisfaction, but a few more mysterious ones—like why she couldn’t get past the block in her genealogical research on her father’s side of the family—had yet to be addressed.

Hello, Professor Beard

My search for an image similar to Prof. Beard’s dress and physical features yielded this painting of Frederick Guthrie Tait (1870-1900), a Scottish golfer from Edinburgh. It looks like the University towers in the background.

That’s when Professor Beard showed up. I didn’t have a name for him right away, but described him as a scholarly man, with light hair and of large build. He was dressed quite smartly in a creme-colored suit, white shirt and some type of old fashioned neck ribbon or scarf. I could see the chain of a pocket watch hanging from his waistcoat, and he sported wire-rimmed glasses and a flat cap. From his dress, demeanor and coloring, and the way I sense geography, I said to Louise, “I feel like I’m in the early 1900’s, maybe 1920’s or so. I also feel like he would have lived in Ireland…(at which point, the image of a man I knew from Scotland flashed across my mind)…or Scotland.”

Louise stopped me, “Oh, my maiden name is Beard, and my father would say ‘there are a lot of Beards in Scotland,’ but I always thought he just meant there were a lot of men wearing beards! I guess he really did mean that it was a popular family name.”

“Aha! Well, this man does not have a beard, but it does look like he may have a mustache or other facial hair,” I responded.

University of Edinburgh in Scotland

University of Edinburgh in Scotland

The gentleman then made it clear that he was a teacher, and I could sense the connection to the University of Edinburgh, as I saw a quick flash in my mind’s eye of the University’s towers. From that point forward, I referred to him as Professor Beard. I then saw the Professor in a lecture hall and he pulled out an hourglass to show me. He said that he used it as a means of keeping track of the lecture time. But then the conversation shifted; Professor Beard began using the hourglass as an analogy and spoke at length about a preferred means of “measuring our lives.”

Now, because such concepts tend to come through to me in a jumble of visual, sensory and auditory information, I’ll paraphrase what he communicated through me to Louise.

hourglass“Most people look at their lives and they think of the time left to live, or rather exist on Earth. If we use the hourglass as an analogy, each of the grains of sand can be considered to be a measure of our life: days, months, years. As the grains fall down from the upper bulb through the neck to the lower bulb, we see it as time slipping through our fingers and find ourselves increasingly anxious at the thought of the final sands of time passing us by, always looking to see how many grains are still in the upper bulb of the hourglass.”

It’s a matter of shifting one’s gaze

He went on to say:

A much preferred way of looking at life is this: imagine each grain of sand that passes through the neck of the hourglass is a life goal met, an exciting accomplishment or desired achievement, a moment fully lived. Rather than feel anxiety at what is lost from above, gaze at the bottom of the hourglass and feel joy at all that has been gained! Take time as you move through the paces of your life to reflect on those accumulating grains of accomplishment and happy moments. Live with gratitude and a knowing that you are on your path, that you are reaching those goals you set for yourself prior to this present incarnation on Earth. Be glad for your experiences and for the progress you have made in the continued evolution of your soul, for all that you have learned!

Thank you for this reminder, Prof. Beard. Life is indeed a gift and we humans, in our obsession with time, sometimes miss the point of living altogether. Our lives are not simply strings of days, months and years held together by measured time. Rather, life is truly a succession of opportunities for expanding our awareness, knowledge and perception of our world. Every day is an opportunity to grow and evolve intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Every grain that falls in our own personal hourglass should be seen as a marker of progress and fulfillment.

What about the last grain of sand?

As I apply this analogy, a reading earlier this week comes to mind. It dealt with a tough question: “Why can’t my father just let go? His health is so bad, his quality of life is so poor. He wants to know if there is something left for him to do before he can go on to Heaven?”

Good question. Why is a life drawn out when it only seems to delay physical suffering? It may just be the case for all of us that our hourglass will not drop its last grain of sand until we have achieved what we have come to achieve in this lifetime, at least that which is still feasible given our circumstances.

I believe there are many reasons for that last grain of sand to defy gravity, but we may need to dig deep to find it. It may be something as simple as saying, or allowing someone else to say, “I love you,” or, “I’m sorry,” or something else equally as important. Perhaps a meeting with friends or family must yet take place, someone forgiven, a secret shared, a burden lifted, an empathetic understanding found, a project completed for benefit of others…  I believe that if we look inside with truthful eyes and an open heart, we will find it, and we will know what is required of us for our Spirit to fly free once again.

John Beard, D.Sc  (1857-1924), Professor at University of Edinburgh in Scotland

Tonight, I received an email from Louise. She wrote, “I found possible links for…a John Beard, who was a professor at the University of Edinburgh.  He wrote an early study on stem cell research about 1910.”

JohnBeard_real_Photo

Dr. John Beard

Now isn’t that interesting. And perhaps quite fitting that a scientist researcher of early stem cell research, the study of life itself, should also philosophize on how we should best measure and perceive the passing of one’s life. I just did my own search on John Beard (1857-1924). The photo I found online bears striking similarity to the Spirit who became known to us as Professor Beard.  I also have discovered that I’ve actually read references to his work in recent years! For those who know me personally, I pay a lot of attention to diet and the impact of toxic environments on the body as it relates to the perpetuation of cancers and other inflammatory diseases. John Beard’s work, once largely ignored, has made a strong comeback as current medical researchers are finding validation and insights in his early work. He was a man ahead of his time. In fact, his book , The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer, first published

Published in 1911.

Published in 1911.

in 1911, was reprinted in 2009 and available in hardcover once again.  If the Prof. Beard who came through as an ancestor to Louise is the very author of this work, I’m feeling very humbled this evening that I was able to share one more sliver of brilliance from this man.

Needless to say, I’m very inspired by Prof. Beard’s hourglass analogy. I’ll be on the lookout for the perfect hourglass to remind myself to change my perception of life passing by or slipping away, to a more positive, rewarding and accumulative philosophy. As Prof. Beard would say, “It’s really just a matter of shifting one’s gaze.”

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Adoption is not so black and white.

A man, whom I’ll call Paul, recently came to me for a Messages from Loved Ones reading. He’d never had such a reading before, and admitted some doubt about the process itself, but the opportunity presented itself, and so he was going to take it. His open-minded attitude was enough for me to feel comfortable proceeding.

Paul had one very specific question in mind: Why did his birth parents give him up for adoption? Both his birth parents were in Spirit, and so he couldn’t ask them directly. No one had ever come to a reading with such a question, so I had no idea what might come from it, but I was interested to see where this question would take us.

Now, Paul wanted me to understand in advance of the reading that he’d had a very good life, with very loving adoptive parents, and never lacked for anything growing up. He said that he bore no ill will toward his biological parents for their decision, whatever their reasons, but nevertheless he was curious, and if he could know the answer to this question, he could stop wondering about it. He added that he had never, throughout his life, felt strongly compelled to discover his biological roots. And yet, in recent years, due to a near-death medical emergency, Paul found himself propelled along the journey of family discovery in middle age.

And so, there we were, about to answer a question he had held in his heart for his entire life.

I placed our chairs facing each other, knees to knees, close enough to take his hands in mine. I led us through a relaxation and pillar-of-light visualization that I do for all my clients prior to a reading. Usually, after I’ve finished with visualization, I release my hands, we both sit back, and within a minute the Spirits approach slowly, and begin the communication. But this case – this case was different.

I’d barely begun the pillar-of-light visualization when one set of parents slid into place along my right arm and Paul’s left arm, still joined at our hands. Suddenly, another set of parents slid into place to my left, facing the first set of parents. It was as though we were at a card table, all facing in. I was still talking Paul through the visualization, even as I was observing these two sets of parents taking their seat at the table, so to speak. As I was finishing the visualization, the two parents reached across and through our hands, and joined hands themselves. Imagine if you will, six pairs of hands joined across the table, energetically merging. Clearly, this was going to be a very special reading.

I finished the introductory visualization, and explained to Paul what had just happened. Before Paul could say anything in response, the woman to my right identified herself as his birth mother, and  began speaking.

“It was a pact, Paul,” she said. “A pact, or agreement, that we all made prior to your birth.” When she said “all,” she waved her arm in an arc to include his adoptive parents, Paul himself, and she and her husband, the biological father. “It was a part of your life plan that we all agreed to—I and my husband agreed to conceive you, and then to give you up for adoption. Your adoptive parents across from us agreed to adopt you and to provide you the life situation that they did, a life situation that you sought. Of course, on the Earth plane, we forget this agreement, but our souls do not, and so we are driven toward these decisions, despite the grief and sadness that we are left with. Let me say however, that it has been such an amazing relief—and I speak for myself now—to have the opportunity here (on the Other Side) to meet your adoptive parents again with my husband, and to share our experiences. To know that the sadness I felt at giving you up was balanced by the immeasurable joy your adoptive mother and father experienced reminded me once again, why I agreed to it. Much of my life plan was about personal loss in this lifetime, and about finding the courage to work through it, to move through it, and to continue to thrive for the sake of my other children. It was a very difficult life for a variety of reasons, and yet when I see now how the gains balanced the losses, I understand it, and am able to release the sadness and guilt I carried with me for so many years.”

I paused as Paul let this sink in. His biological father spoke briefly of his role in the decision to give up Paul, and that he was motivated by practical reasons, but that later in life he would feel the regrets and the pain of loss rise up again and again. He said, “It helps to understand that I played the role that my soul agreed to, difficult as it was, and as my wife said, to see the wonderful life you’d been given by your new parents eased the difficult and lingering emotions around that decision.”

Next, Paul’s adoptive parents spoke. It turns out Paul’s adoptive father was the head of the county social services, where Paul’s biological mother gave birth to him. His father made sure that he would be well placed to receive Paul when it was time for him to be born, and he was! The adoption was handled directly and efficiently. His adoptive mother spoke of the joy they felt when Paul became their son, and no love could be greater than that which they felt for him. He had made them so proud. There were more lovely memories shared in this part of the reading, and Paul was taken back, albeit briefly, to his happy childhood.

The adoption was my idea?! Paul wanted to know why he, himself, would choose to be given up for adoption. Could they tell him that? So I asked the parents, and what came forward was a new aspect to pre-birth Life Planning that I had not understood up to this point myself.

A clipboard holding a checklist floated into view before me. I’m not sure who brought it forward – his biological parents or whether it came in from a Spirit Guide. Both sets of parents seemed to be privy to the information on the paper.

Paul’s biological mother spoke again, “Paul, in this lifetime, you wanted to explore the expression of familial love and bonds outside of genetics, outside of the biological stream, if you will. You wanted to know if you could flourish in the same way raised by those who were biologically unrelated to you. You were seeking to understand the nature of family and love, and what are the determining variables. It’s quite clear on your checklist.”

My attention was drawn again to the clipboard, upon which was a list of Paul’s life goals—goals that he had written for himself. There was a long list of goals that appeared in dark type; most of them had checks next to them, marking accomplishments. Near the bottom, however, was a dotted line, and below it were a few more items, but they were grayed out. His biological mother continued, “You see the items at the top were all part of your pre-birth Life Plan—as that of a child given up by us, and taken in by your adoptive parents. You’ll see key benchmarks in career, marriage, children – it’s all there. You have followed your life plan quite skillfully, Paul—better than most.”

Not all life goals are created equal:  She then pointed to the bottom of the page and said, “The two grayed-out items at the bottom of the page are those items that you did not want to include as pre-specified goals prior to being born on Earth. You wanted the flexibility to determine if each would be a goal or not–in real-time–while living your life on Earth. One of these items was to find your biological family. You didn’t want the insistence of your soul to do so; you wanted to let free will and circumstance lead you there—or not. So you see Paul, this is the reason that we, my husband and I, never told our children about you, or sought you out. Our souls knew it was to be your decision, and we had no right to take that from you. As hard as it was at times to not seek you out, to learn how your life was unfolding, we did not break our pact with you, because we knew in our hearts that we should not.  I hope that you can understand and appreciate this fact.”

At this, Paul nodded. He seemed to understand it completely. The two sets of parents then showered Paul with love, and pulled back (or rather floated back) from the table, allowing other Spirits who were waiting to greet Paul to step in, and the reading proceeded as any other.

The Adoption Pact: Because of the unique nature of the discussion of Paul’s Life Plan, and the “Pact” he had made with both sets of parents regarding his adoption, I asked him if I could share that part of the reading, so that other readers, who may be experiencing one side or another of an adoption may find comfort in this story.  Adoption is a part of so many families’ experience today, and yet the attendant emotions continue to be complex, sorrow- or guilt-ridden, or simply confusing in a culture that places a high value on knowing our roots, our family story, our biological lineage. No adoption is like the next, and yet all adoptions may share the common event of a pact between all parties prior to life here on Earth.

Once again, we are reminded that we, as individuals, are the architects of our own Life Plans. We have a voice in all significant events that will occur in our lives, the goal being our soul’s continued growth and evolution. So when life seems really hard, or throws that unexpected curve ball, take a moment to reflect and to assess the learning that is happening. In quiet meditation, ask your soul, your higher self, why you have been put in this situation, and how it will serve you though the rest of your life? The answers are there, you just need to listen for Whispers from the Light…

Do you have a story of adoption to share, a story of love, or courage or learning that was possible because of an adoption? Please feel free to comment below.

With Love and Light ~ Renee Buck


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Welcome back my friends,

As I began working on Part II of the Series on Life Plans, I was reflecting on the fact that I started the discussion of Life Plans with two stories that illustrated how the soul chooses the means and timing of its death, or more accurately, its passing from an incarnation on Earth into its Spirit life on the Other Side.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to begin the conversation there, but it was where my understanding of the soul’s influence over its own Earth-Life destiny began. I know from my work as a Medium, that it’s the same for many people. We try to make sense of the death of our loved ones, and it is this tragic event that puts us on the path of the Seeker.

It follows then, that just as a soul chooses the circumstances of her own death, so does she choose the circumstances of birth, her physical body, her family, her spouse(s) or significant others, her children, her best friends and others who play critical roles in her soul’s spiritual development on Earth, which is, in case you were wondering, why we’re all here.

The Seeker in me is always thrilled to find supporting evidence for claims and theories brought forward by brilliant minds around the world, across the millenia. I am also particularly fascinated by the teachings of Spirit entities channeled through humans while in trance. Seth, one such Spirit entity channeled by Jane Roberts in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, is particularly eloquent on the issues of soul agreements, reincarnation, the nature of man and God, the laws of the Universe.  (Source: Seth Speaks)  Other significant supporting work and research in this body of knowledge include:  Sylvia Brown, Edgar Cayce, Dr. Michael Hathaway, Carolyn Myss, Dr. Michael Newton, Dick Sutphen, and Dr. Brian Weiss, to name a few.

In simple terms, life planning on The Other Side goes like this: Broad-based sacred agreements are reached between souls prior to being born into a new life on Earth. Every soul knows (or think she knows) what she is getting into and what she is expecting to get out of the life experiences, both the good and the bad, while on the Earth Plane. While certain events in the Life Plan are pre-destined, human’s free will, however, will determine whether the agreements surrounding these events are fulfilled in whole, in part, or not at all. The degree to which a person actually follows the path her soul has prescribed in her new incarnation (for the purpose of spiritual growth), is directly proportional to the degree to which she follows her heart, her conscience, and her gut feelings. The soul or higher self is constantly communicating with the personality in human form on Earth, guiding, nudging, or cajoling back to “the Plan.” And then there’s everyone else, in the same situation, doing their own thing while impacting this soul with whom agreements were made.  “If, then…” statements are written into every agreement, and if needed, the “understudy,” steps in to help us accomplish our goals and further our soul’s development. Similarly, if one screws up a learning challenge, more opportunities are in the wings to try again—if not in this lifetime, in the next. That’s where Karma and Karmic debts and credits come into play—more on that later.

Now, keep in mind that what souls promise to do for others on Earth is not necessarily all nice and happy. For example, if I choose to experience oppression in my life, so that I may learn and grow from it, then others may agree to be my oppressors.  Here’s the key takeaway: The oppression is just the setup. My soul’s challenge is to overcome and rise above the oppression, to free myself either physically or emotionally from it, and to take responsibility for this challenge. So, yes, sometimes when life really knocks the wind out of you, you did ask for it…the bright side is that you’ve arrived at an opportunity to grow from the experience, and to apply your learning purposefully and with wisdom the next time that situation comes around. You may even find yourself in a mentor situation helping others suffering from the same type of oppression.

The first time I read about the concept of Life Plans, I’ll be honest, I was of two minds. I loved the idea that I was indeed the architect of my life (with guidance from my Master Teachers), but there was this other niggling thought, especially while reading Seth Speaks, that went something like this: “If this is just a play we’re acting out here on Earth, then how important is it? If this isn’t our ‘real life,’ because our ‘real life’ is on The Other Side, then…so what if we screw up? We’ll get another chance, right? We can come back to Earth as often as we want…so why sweat it?”

Now, Seth Speaks is probably not the place to begin exploring these ideas, as they are more than mind-bending to the novice. Seth introduced me to the concepts of multiple lives, multiple realities, probabilities of events, probable lives, reincarnating civilizations, non-linear time, consciously creating our reality, and much more. Digesting his teachings was something of a philosophical low point in my “classroom” on Earth, and I spent many hours turning them over in my mind, discussing these concepts with others and reading everything I could get my hands on to feel better about the importance of my life, here and now. Today I have a much brighter perspective, a keener understanding of karmic influences, and a renewed sense of self and purpose, so let me tell you how I got there – and I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on the topic!

When I finally retired Seth Speaks, the next stop for me was Sylvia Brown’s book, The Other Side and Back. It’s really a very good introduction to these concepts, and a much easier read. What Sylvia presents in her book is rather one-dimensional compared to the Seth material, but when it comes to re-arranging my understanding of reality, baby steps were called for! The rest of her books add incremental knowledge to this one.  I especially enjoyed her Book of Dreams. Spirit guides and loved ones regularly communicate with us via dreams, and her categorization of dreams is helpful in understanding which dreams are most likely message bearing vs. the mind simply working through and problem solving issues in our lives.

Renee at PLR training with Dr. Brian Weiss

I eventually found my way to the works of renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Weiss. His books chronicle client case studies in Past Life Regression and more recently, Future Life Progression. Regression is a form of hypnosis, where the trained hypnotherapist leads the client back through various life experiences, and then asks questions of the client while they are under hypnosis experiencing their past life. Dr. Weiss had no knowledge of, or even interest in past life regression in his early career—until one day, one of his clients regressed back to another lifetime without him actually leading her there. It was no accident however, as it marked the beginning his real life’s work—case studies and experiences that offer profound insights into the journey of the soul. In Dr. Wiess’ seminal works, Messages from the Masters and Many Lives, Many Masters, many of the same concepts as those introduced by Seth were explored, including messages directly from Spirit Masters who spoke through his client known as Katherine, while she was in a deep hypnotic state. I highly recommend his book, Only Love is Real for an amazing love story of two soul mates reunited in this lifetime. Dr. Weiss’ cases studies added significantly to my understanding of the soul’s journey. If you’re curious about past lives, read all of his books. They will keep your attention and provide so much food for thought regarding your present life and potential past life connections. In 2006, I was fortunate to study past life regression from the Master himself–an experience I’ll treasure always, for Dr. Weiss is a man of integrity and goodness. Now, when you are ready to explore your own past lives, I’ll be happy to be your guide.

They say we haven’t developed the capability to time travel. I disagree. Past life regression and future life progression is time travel via the mind. Chew on that for a moment…

Finally in 2007, I was introduced to the research of Dr. Michael Newton, a world-renowned psychotherapist, who has devoted his life’s work to understanding what happens to us after we die, and before we come back to Earth in another body to live again, in other words, our lives as Spirit beings on The Other Side.

As happened to Dr. Weiss—by chance (or so it seems), one of Dr. Newton’s clients, while under hypnosis, took Dr. Newton to the space between two of the client’s lives on Earth. From that point on, Dr. Newton dedicated his practice and his research solely to understanding “Life Between Lives.” In his books, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls (the latter being the better of the two, in my opinion), Dr. Newton draws from his experience regressing thousands of clients over decades, to this space between lifetimes. He identifies consistent themes, symbols, activities, processes, and goals—all through his clients’ descriptions of The Other Side. He actively explores with his clients the metaphysics of The Other Side, how souls are born, how souls live on The Other Side and interact with others, the hierarchy of souls as they evolve, the many-faceted and fascinating process of reviewing our most recent lives with our Master teachers and Spiritual Advisors. He describes the detailed planning of our next life often hundreds of years later, and the various methods by which Spirits on the Other Side communicate with humans (or at least try to).

We learn from Dr. Newton’s research that in the life planning process (pre-birth), each of us enters into sacred agreements with a broad range of other souls, those in our inner circles, our middle circles, and our outer circles. We often reincarnate with the same soul group, each soul helping others in the group to reach their own development goals, and often working through Karmic relationships and debts incurred. Each of us agrees, of our own free will, to play a specific role for those in our soul circles. We agree to play out situations and circumstances through which optimal learning and growth is available to us, and as it turns out, we learn the most when the road has been strewn with obstacles. No surprise there, right? Often times, states Dr. Newton, the more advanced the soul, the more complex the human environment, the tougher the lessons, and the greater the soul’s positive impact on others. Beyond our Spiritual Masters, I imagine highly advanced souls to include such influential people as Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, the Dalai Lama, and Nelson Mandela, to name a few. The rest of us just keep working on our own personal evolution. With each lifetime we develop greater empathy with mankind’s plight; we develop a stronger connection to the Divine while still on Earth; we develop the ability to communicate, heal and console, and to bring light to the dark corners of our world.

I’ve given you plenty to think about, and gosh, isn’t that book list growing? With your holiday time off, pick up one of these inspiring books, and begin reflecting on your own soul’s journey.

In Part III, we’ll explore Karma further, and I’ll share my own experience in a 3-hour Life Between Lives regression (hypnosis session). To say it was enlightening hardly describes the impact it’s had on my outlook and sense of purpose in this lifetime.

My friends, I’m off for the holidays, but will be back blogging at the end of the year. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanza! May all that your heart desires be yours in this holiday season and beyond. Remember, your Loved Ones in Spirit will be there celebrating right along with you, so take a moment to acknowledge them, invite them in, and thank them for their love and guidance in your life. And…with them fully participating, who knows what magic is in store?

With love and light ~ Renee Buck

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Welcome back, my friends.  Today we begin a 3-part series on Life Plans.

About 9 years ago, I was introduced to the concept that I wrote my own life plan before coming down to the Earth plane as Renee Buck. I still remember the emotional impact of that understanding—so profound, and yet it answered so many of the questions on the nature and purpose of life and death that had been gathering since childhood like dust in a dark corner of my mind.

Of course I would be the architect of my own experience! Of course I would coordinate the karmic debts or credits and particulars of my greatest life lessons! Of course I would choose certain souls for certain roles, for who knew better than I what I needed for my soul to progress toward greater enlightenment? It just made so much sense.  Suddenly I was looking at every life experience in a new light. No more “Woe is me; why does this keep happening?” but rather, “What have I learned from that experience or relationship that can make me a better person? What was the point of it?” I just leaped right out of the pity party and into the classroom, which was exactly where I needed to be. Exactly where we all need to be.

Earth is a classroom. Everyone you meet is a potential teacher. Every incident is a learning opportunity. Every lesson learned is one step closer to becoming the person you’re meant to be, and a more evolved soul in the process. 

This understanding allowed me to finally put to rest the idea that “God’s plan” would or could result in inexplicable hardship, horrific pain, or endless terror to any soul on Earth. As a child, I rejected the explanation of “God’s Plan” for the death of my siblings, and any other bad thing that happened in the world. I knew God to be good, not cruel, not heartless in his/her actions. Growing up, I favored the “random accident” explanation for bad things that happened, and attributed all other action to man’s free will. The concept of pre-destiny had no place in my life. With my new understanding, however, I was able to see that random accidents, free will, and “God’s Plan” by themselves, are all faulty explanations due to the limited scope of each. If this sounds like a simplistic version of the religious arguments of the Catholics and Protestant Reformers during The Reformation of the 1500’s, you’d be right. My great frustration was that no single answer was sufficient, and thus my lifelong spiritual quest beyond the limiting dogma and philosophies of Christianity.

Merle’s Choice

The Spring of 2002 was the first time a Spirit Medium, Nancy Strickland, brought me a message from the Other Side. It was from my brother Merle, who died at age 14, when I was just 12—in what my family always considered a “mysterious accident.” Before I tell you the story, let me take you back in time to the circumstances leading up to Merle’s death.

My brother, Merle

We lived in a rented farmhouse at the time. The farm sat on the opposite side of a country highway from the small town of Searles, Minnesota.  Merle’s 14th birthday was on August 24, 1971, and the only thing he wanted was a motorcycle.  And he got it—a small blue 50cc motorbike. Mom and Dad paid for half, and Merle paid for the other half from his summer job. He was so proud of that bike and was on it every possible moment, until…

About a week after his birthday, Merle had come home from riding the paths on the nearby river bluffs.  He was visibly shaken, and proceeded to tell me and my sisters about “something unseen trying to pull him over the bluff to the rocks below.” He said that at one point, he was “teetering over the edge, but fought his way back.” Merle, the daredevil of the family, was clearly spooked by the incident, and his bike sat untouched for several days.

Fast forward now to September 8th of the same year. Merle had just come home from school.  It was about 4:00 pm, and he volunteered to pick up our younger brother, Jim, from the babysitter in Searles. Rather than walking into Searles from the bus stop at the end of the driveway, and walking home again, Merle decided to get his motorbike and surprise little Jim, who loved to go with Merle on rides around the farm. Merle left the house on his motorbike holding his helmet rather than wearing it, because he only had one helmet and was apparently planning to put it on young Jim. Although Merle had at least a half mile visibility in each direction before crossing the highway, he inexplicably drove his small motorbike out in front of an oncoming car going 65 mph. The driver never saw him; Merle didn’t have a chance. He died later that night of trauma to the brain.

Back to 2002: After validating Merle’s presence through an amazingly accurate description of his age, build, hair and the

1971 Honda

blue motorbike on which he died due to “mysterious circumstances,” Nancy relayed the following message from Merle: “I know how hard it was on the family when I died. It’s always more difficult to accept the death of a child. But I want you and the family to understand that it was my choice to leave at that time. I had completed what I needed to do, and it was time for me to leave. So please, tell Mom I love her, and don’t let her hold any more guilt about it, ok?” Needless to say, I was blown away by that first contact from Merle after all those years, and any skepticism I still held for the work of the medium was washed away in a matter of moments.  The only part I didn’t understand was regarding my mother’s guilt.

I called my mother on the phone later that day and relayed the amazing message from Merle. I asked her if she felt guilt about it, and why, and Mom immediately broke into tears and explained her anguish over his death. She had fought our father for months on the decision to allow Merle a motorbike, because he was so accident prone. Indeed, less than a year earlier he’d nearly killed himself in a snowmobile accident. Regardless, with Dad and Merle both putting on the pressure, she finally gave in, and Merle got the bike.  She described how she used to say to herself over and over again after his death, “If only I’d held out. If only I’d refused that bike, he’d still be with us.” We cried together on the phone. To know that my mother held that guilt for all those years was a tragedy in itself. But through Merle’s loving message, a tremendous healing was made possible, and the decades-long burden was relieved. All my mother needed to understand was that it was Merle’s choice, or perhaps more accurately said, the choice of Merle’s Soul to die at that time, in that way. She had simply acted according to plan, her plan, and undoubtedly according to her sacred contract with Merle before they both began their lives on Earth.

We, as individuals, choose the circumstances of our birth, our life here, and our deaths (with some exceptions). God, however defined, provides us this amazing Earth, rich in resources and opportunities—all that we need to survive. God also enables us with Free Will, which is always with us, on Earth and on the Other Side.

Charles’ Choice

I recently received an email from Diane, a client of mine, who told me the story of her beloved Charles, which again clearly articulates the Soul’s choice as to when and how death on Earth, and rebirth on the Other Side, will occur. Charles was clearly a very spiritual man. During his life, he studied Eastern philosophies, pursued martial arts, understood what Karma was all about, and took good care of himself.

On the morning of 9/11, at the very moment that the towers were being toppled, Charles was undergoing triple by-pass heart surgery just 20 miles away. He suffered from a condition that clogged his arteries with cholesterol at rates much higher than in the average person. In the recovery room, after the surgery, he died due a reaction to the anesthesia. near_death_lightCharles saw himself rising out of his body. He heard what the doctors and nurses were saying to each other. As he turned away from them, he saw a beautiful white light, and moved instinctively toward it. Greeting him there in the light, was his mother who’d passed into Spirit the year before. She said to him, “Charles, it’s not your time yet. You need to go back.” And so, always the obedient son, he turned back to his body, and before he knew it, was waking up to see a nurse in the recovery room. He would live to tell the story of his near-death experience, and to understand that his Mother was alive in Spirit and still watching out for him.

You see, it wasn’t Charles’ time. He had more to accomplish in this lifetime on Earth. He would pass into Spirit according to plan, and dying on 9/11 in a hospital recovery room was not the plan.

A few years later, Charles was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He refused surgery until he’d exhausted every other possible means of healing. He did his own research and discovered the positive connection between the acidic body and cancer growth. Charles worked very hard at modifying his diet to include plenty of alkaline foods (like fresh vegetables and fruits, salads, fish, alkaline grains, etc.) He cut back on acidic foods (like red meats, dairy, sugars and simple starches) to enhance the alkalinity. In time, his body tissue became slightly alkaline, which is the state of being that we all need to attain in order to stay healthy—a state in which most cancers cannot thrive. His now alkaline body refused to let the cancer grow, and in time, he starved the cancer that was already there. At his next checkup, only the doctors were surprised to find that cancer was gone. Charles was not going to die of prostate cancer. It wasn’t the plan. Rather, the plan called for learning how to cure his cancer, and in doing so to inspire and motivate others who suffer from the disease.

Shortly after the cancer free diagnosis, Charles said to Diane, “I knew I wouldn’t die of cancer. If anything kills me, it will be my heart.” Charles was correct about that: within months, he died of a massive heart attack. It reads like a Greek tragedy: Just in the wake of victory, the hero is slain. Tragic indeed, and my heart goes out to all those who knew him and loved him, and miss him still here on the Earth plane. Such a beautiful Spirit he is! (I know this because he came through during a reading earlier this week, and I experienced his loving energy.)

But again, what can we take from this story? When it’s our time, it’s our time, and when it’s not, it’s not. We take some comfort in knowing, however, that it will be according to our own plan, and according to our agreements with others to depart at a particular point in time, in a particular manner. In each death, there is a learning opportunity for those left behind. Sometimes, as in my case, a lifelong spiritual quest is born. For some, it’s a wake-up call to live the life we’re meant to, to repair existing relationships before it’s too late, or simply to take better care of ourselves. For many, it’s a renewal of the understanding that life goes on and that love is eternal.

What have you learned about yourself in the wake of a loved one’s death? And have you put that learning to good use?

Are there exceptions to this rule? Do we always die as we planned? There are exceptions, because free will exists for everyone. We can’t always control the actions of others, and not everyone stays on the life path they set for themselves. But this, my friends, is a discussion for another day.

Do you have an experience to share, that sheds light on this topic? If so, please do so in the comment box below.  And thanks for sharing!

In Love and Light ~ Renee Buck

Stay tuned for Life Plan: Part II — Soul Agreements and Karma

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Have you ever thought about what it means to be “inspired” or to rely on “inspiration”?

Have you considered that “spirit” is the primary root of these words? What would you say to the idea that inspired thoughts or ideas come to you from those in Spirit who have chosen to work with you, through agreements made before you descended into your life here on Earth? My question to you is this: are you hearing everything they are trying to tell you?

In the zone: Perhaps you’ve noticed that your best ideas come in the shower, or while driving to work, or maybe walking your dog. During such times, your mind is relaxed and between what is known as “alpha” and “theta” brain wave states in hypnosis terms. You’re “out there” or “in the zone” and that’s when the potential for communication to you from Spirit (a.k.a. inspiration) is highest.

What about meditation, you ask? Meditation is among the best conscious forms of relaxation, and affords a high level of readiness for inspired ideas. Deep meditation takes one into a full theta brain wave state, which means you’re pretty wide open for conversation or communion with Spirit. If you seek answers to a particular question, hold that single question in your mind as you allow yourself to fall into a relaxed meditative state. Maintain focus, and then just listen without expectation or judgment.

Prayer? Absolutely. Regardless of religion, the process of prayer can be seen as an active and typically more communicative form of meditation. By active and communicative, I mean that people are usually asking questions of the Divine, seeking answers or help.  The process of prayer is most like meditation when a person is quiet and calm and is actively sharing their heartfelt concerns and then listening with that same open heart for answers. This provides an opening for your Loved Ones, your Spirit Guides, for God to provide the inspiration you need to go on.  But remember, sometimes the answer comes not in words, but in future events–so be aware.

A healthy body raises your vibration and will improve your potential for divine inspiration. This can be done through a variety of means. Luckily for us, the best ways are also the simplest ways:

  • Eat a healthy diet of fresh, natural foods from the earth: fruits, vegetables, whole–and if possible–alkaline grains like millet, quinoa, or buckwheat.
  • Seek PH balance in your diet. Disease, inflammation, and cancer can only thrive in an acidic body–which is enhanced through the Standard American Diet (SAD) of meats, dairy, sugars, simple starches. Best resource I’ve found: The PH Miracle by Dr. Robert Young. Get it, live it. It changed my life.
  • Cut out, or at least cut back on animal protein (derived from meat and dairy) from your diet. Animal protein consumption, particularly in colder climates, where Vitamin D is often deficient, is statistically linked to cancer, MS, and a variety of other diseases. Dairy is also highly mucous forming, which inhibits the body’s absorption of nutrients through the colon. Read the new book, The China Study, by biochemist and nutritionist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. He’s a retired Cornell University Professor. It’s described as “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.” I learned so much about what our bodies need to be healthy. A must read.
A healthy mind also raises your vibration, opening you up to greater inspiration. Things you can do:
  • Reduce stress through exercise and meditation. Stress is a huge detriment to clear communications from Spirit, so work it out of your system. A combination of yoga practice, aerobic exercise, and weights works great for my own personal physical and spiritual development, strengthening and alignment.
  • Sing! Play music! Surround yourself with sounds that “bring you up.”
  • Spend time with people who bring out the best in you, who are positive and curious, who love the life they are leading. Help your energy-vampire friends as much as you can, and then politely excuse yourself.
  • Do good. Research tells us that doing good, and observing others who do good boosts our immune systems and raises our endorphin levels, i.e. gives us a natural high, and we all like that!
  • Read books and magazines, or watch movies with uplifting and/or thought-provoking messages. Limit consumption of dark energy materials, e.g. stories of horror, violence, abuse and oppression. These produce feelings of sadness, fear, anger, or desire for revenge: all emotions that lower our vibration, and further separate us from Spirit.
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. It actively lowers your vibration.
  • Drugs. Just say no. They also actively lower your body’s vibration. Prescription drugs? Well…do your own soul searching on that one. If you’ve been relying on Western Medicine practices only, consider consulting a Naturopath, Medical Intuitive, or specialist in Orthomolecular Medicine to better  understand the mind-body dis-ease connection. Many natural remedies (like healthy diet and vitamin therapy) work as well or better and are not so acidic to the body.

And there you have it: a broad-based formula for enhancing your connection to divine inspiration.

Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences regarding your own personal inspiration below. Where do you get your best ideas from? How do they come to you? Do you actively put yourself in that space, or is it impromptu – like lightbulb flashes overhead?

With Love and Light ~ Renee Buck

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